Wu Yan and Asuna led Yui by her hands. Then, they passed her over to Sachi.
“Sachi, please take care of Yui…”
Sachi nodded energetically and she gave Yui a tight hug. With a soft voice, she said.
“Relax, Onii-san, Yui, and I will be looking forward to your good news right here…”
“Yeah, you better make sure it’s good news!”
Shion rattled her fists.
“If it’s bad news then I am going to hate you guys forever!”
Wu Yan turned Shion’s hair into a bird’s nest by ruffling it up.
“It won’t take long…”
Silica clenched her teeth while holding Pina. She looked at Wu Yan, Asuna, Kirito, Klein, and Agil. She overcame her docile nature to yell out loud her words of support.
“Go get it, guys! Return safely!”
Wu Yan & co exchanged a smile. They gave Silica a firm nod.
Silica, Shion, Sachi, and Liz felt a bit worried when they saw the squad of six standing shoulder to shoulder.
There is nothing more agonizing than watching loved ones go into the battlefield while you’re forced to stay home and wait.
Liz lovingly helped Kirito adjust his collar.
“You better keep your promise, buster. If I find you reneging on your promise in the real world, there’s a whole world of pain coming for you, you hear?!”
Kirito shuddered when he heard Liz’s hard love expressed in words.
For Liz, he can’t lose!
Yui held Wu Yan and Asuna’s hands. She placed them against her cheeks and she relished in their warmth.
“I will eagerly await the day we meet again!”
Wu Yan and Asuna squatted down and they gave her a tight hug.
“We will definitely see each other again!”
Sachi couldn’t hold back her feelings, she glomped Wu Yan at the same time Silica glomped him. Shion also took this chance to hug Asuna.
“Don’t let anything happen to yourselves, please be safe…”
Wu Yan rubbed their heads.
“I am sorry. You girls treat me as your brother but I never properly fulfilled my duty as the brother..”
Silica shook her head.
“If it wasn’t for Wu Yan-nii, Pina would already be long dead. I would have also met my end in that forest. Without Nii-san, I wouldn’t have met everyone here. I wouldn’t have been able to get over my fear of climbing up the lower floors or just living. Wu Yan-nii is the pillar of light that saved me from that darkness. I wake up every day aware that all my current happiness is a gift from Wu Yan-nii. Thank you very much, Wu Yan-nii.”
Sachi lifted her head.
“I am a timid person, I stayed in the Town of Beginnings because I was afraid of venturing out. I forced myself to join the Captain and others but I went to sleep every night wondering if the next dive would be my last venture. I feared death every time I thought about this.
“Then, Nii-san came along…”
Sachi gave him a very radiant smile.
“You defeated many Floor bosses on your own. You became the strongest player in this game but you never stopped helping us whenever we got into a pinch. You even gave us the items you said were junk to help us. I know this is your way of showing how much you cared about us!”
“You’re the inspiration that molded me into someone who could help the Captain and others. Since then, I never needed to go onto the battlefield again. Since the start, I had always been living under the protection of Onii-san’s wings. I…”
“Onii-san! You’re my idol! You’re my idol for life!”
Sachi yelled with unprecedented courage.
“My Onii-san is the strongest, he will never be defeated by digital monsters made out of algorithms!”
“I believe in you too! I believe in you too!”
Shion who was busy hugging Asuna chirped.
“If Yan didn’t come along, I would have been stuck in the town of Beginnings. I also wouldn’t have found my home. Everyone took me in. When we return to the real world, and, I am sure of that, I will definitely repay the kindness you guys have shown me!”
Shion’s declaration drew hearty laughter from everyone. The sour mood turned for the better as Wu Yan addressed everyone.
“Everyone! Victory shall be ours!”
““Victory shall be ours!””
Asuna, Kirito, Liz, Sachi, Shion, Silica, Souta, Klein, Agil, including Yui yelled in unison. Their voices echoed for miles…
Aincrad, 100th Floor…
The 100th floor had no mob fields, labyrinth, or training area. It’s just a huge city spanning the entire floor.
After the 99th floor got cleared, every player in-game came onto this floor to look at the final floor of the game that trapped them for three whole years. They came here because they wanted to verify that they survived and lived to see the final floor of this game.
With only a little under 6,000 players alive, deducting it from the 10,000 players at the start, close to half of the players were already goners. Now, the survivors will bear witness to the end of this world.
Fully aware there are no monsters on the 100th Floor, the players who came here saw the bright-red castle towering above all other buildings in the only town here.
The final boss awaits.
If they took the boss down, all the players will be freed. That castle is the last thing standing between them and freedom…
At the teleport plaza, players came one after another. They stood at this final stage to watch the final show. The clearers also arrived with the best gear they can get their hands on. They stood silently at the plaza, waiting for the moment they enter the red castle.
Players who were woefully under-leveled arrived on this floor. They went to the sides of the teleport plaza, knowing full well they weren’t in any shape to participate in raids. Instead, they set up shops!
They took out their prized collections, they called the strongest players over and they gave them away for free!
When the final boss gets killed, these items won’t be useful to them anymore. If they can increase the chance of a successful raid by just a little bit, why not?
This is assuming the clearers will win. If the raid members get wiped out, these traders will be so destitute they probably won’t be able to eat. In other words, the traders went all-in on the clearers.
Of course, there are selfish individuals who weren’t selfless enough to give everything away for free. These petty individuals hid away on other floors, praying for the victory of the raid members while secretly snickering at the selfless traders who gave their items away for free. They silently mocked the traders for their foolish actions, ignorant of their ugly grins.
The clearers accepted the items and the goodwill with an open heart. They gave the traders a tight hug as payment. They silently conveyed how useful these items were through their gestures.
Touching scenes sprouted everywhere on the 100th Floor. Some players gave the most well-thought words of encouragement and motivation while others bawled their eyes out yelling at the raid members to return safely.
Unlike SAO which is usually gripped by negativity, today, things changed.
Faced with so many positive vibes, the raid members who were waiting to enter the Red Jade Palace resolved themselves even further.
We will win!